Ab*solve" Absolving.] [L. absolvere to set free, to absolve; ab + solvere to loose. See Assoil, Solve.]

1.

To set free, or release, as from some obligation, debt, or responsibility, or from the consequences of guilt or such ties as it would be sin or guilt to violate; to pronounce free; as, to absolve a subject from his allegiance; to absolve an offender, which amounts to an acquittal and remission of his punishment.

Halifax was absolved by a majority of fourteen. Macaulay.

2.

To free from a penalty; to pardon; to remit (a sin); -- said of the sin or guilt.

In his name I absolve your perjury. Gibbon.

3.

To finish; to accomplish.

[Obs.]

The work begun, how soon absolved. Milton.

4.

To resolve or explain.

[Obs.] "We shall not absolve the doubt."

Sir T. Browne.

Syn. -- To Absolve, Exonerate, Acquit. We speak of a man as absolved from something that binds his conscience, or involves the charge of wrongdoing; as, to absolve from allegiance or from the obligation of an oath, or a promise. We speak of a person as exonerated, when he is released from some burden which had rested upon him; as, to exonerate from suspicion, to exonerate from blame or odium. It implies a purely moral acquittal. We speak of a person as acquitted, when a decision has been made in his favor with reference to a specific charge, either by a jury or by disinterested persons; as, he was acquitted of all participation in the crime.

 

© Webster 1913.

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